Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blocking Cell Phones in the Library

The Oak Creek public library in Milwaukee is thinking about blocking cell phone use due to complaints about people talking on their cell phones. Cell phone use is not allowed in within the building, but people talk anyway.

As much as I hate disembodied one-way conversations happening around me, I don't think this is practical from a safety standpoint. The City Librarian, Ross Talis, does not agree.

Asked whether a blocker could inconvenience patrons who might need to be contacted in an emergency, Talis said: "We have phones here that are always available to the public."

No, still not a great idea. Libraries have had public phones for a very long time, but there is a reason cell phones became popular. Okay, more than a few reasons, but one reason is safety. Someone might not know their friend/family member/rowing coach is at the library at any particular time, making it difficult to call the library proper.

It kind of reminds me of being in elementary or high school. The class would be rowdy, and then everyone - even quiet bookworms like myself - would get punished. I use my cell phone properly dammit!


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